Biwi village’s initial needs assessment reported that the rainy season mortality rate is circa 30 per month, mainly due to chronic diarrhoea. Toilet paper and hand washing do not happen although a number of useable pit latrines were in evidence. Armed with a crude photocopy of a ‘tippee’, an empty 5 litre nylon bottle, a few nails, string and a Blue Peter badge, my youth development group went to task engineering the finer points of the prototype foot operated hand washer. Discarding the Chinese saw thoughtfully provided and brandishing a knife of such magnitude that Crocodile Dundee would complain it was a tad cold, Thokozile barefooted a 5 metre tree to obtain the necessary wood components.
After two hours of loud discussion, trial, error, laughter and back slapping, a workable model evolved and was proudly demonstrated to the other learning groups in the midday sun. Promising to voluntarily help replicate this life-saver, the young men will have engineered a 90 per cent drop in diarrhoea-mortality as experienced in Chapsinja village.